Just recently a number of tech companies, including Yahoo, Adobe and Ebay sent out emails to their users asking them to change their passwords after an unknown cyber-attack compromised their databases containing customer information including names, passwords and credit card information. One of the more disturbing things that occurred as a result of these breaches was the release of user passwords. A recent report by Splash Data showed that the most common passwords found as a result of the breach was 123456 and password. Looks like we still haven’t learned, folks.
About a month ago I came up with an idea for creating strong passwords that I thought was worth sharing with the online community. But, before I do that I’d like you to try and memorize the password below.
Password- ctfoebtmhtstgsomnccfsolp: -(1984
Seems impossible? Well, it isn’t. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps to create a password that is easy to remember yet hard to crack.
Step 1- Find the lyrics of a song you really like and pick a stanza/verse from the song. Then simply choose the first letter from every word in the verse to create the first half of the password.
I’m a music lover and I particularly like old hymns. One of my favourite hymns is “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” so I chose the first verse of the song (actually half of the first verse) and used the first letter of every word as a character for my password.
“Come, thou fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.”
Step 2- Decide if the song is projecting a happy or sad emotion.
I decided that the hymn did not have a happy tune to it and so gave it sad smiley (emoticon) – :- (
Password: ctfoebtmhtstgsomnccfsolp:- (
Step 3- Add your birth year or any number you want at the end of the password.
I decided to add my birth year which is 1984 at the end of the password because it was simply easy to remember
Password: ctfoebtmhtstgsomnccfsolp:- (1984
That’s it. You now have a strong, easy to remember [yes, hard to crack ] password.
No password is completely immune from attackers. The most secure passwords are usually more than 10 characters long and use alpha numeric combinations with punctuations to confuse hackers.
To increase the complexity of your password you can capitalize the first and last letter of your password, this will increase the time hackers take to crack it.
If you would like to check the strength of your passwords you can visit the Kaspersky blog to do so (I strongly recommend constructing fake passwords and then testing them)
In addition to testing the strength of your password you can check if your accounts have been compromised in the latest cyber-attacks against Yahoo, Adobe, etc. by visiting haveibeenpwned.com